The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter:  
Volume III / Number 18: September 27, 2002: Page 6
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Cooking with Shrimp! Shrimp are America's favorite shellfish. And with the coming of Autumn, we see more and more gatherings and parties. Shrimp can be casual or dressy. Party snack, or elegant main course. Always delicious, and great for low carbers.

Most of the shrimp in the United States comes from bordering waters, notably the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Gulf Coast. And there are hundreds of shrimp species, most of which can be divided into two broad classifications—warm-water shrimp and cold-water shrimp. As a broad and general rule, the colder the water, the smaller and more succulent the shrimp.

Shrimp are marketed according to size (number per pound.) General size categories are:
  • colossal (10 or less per pound)
  • jumbo (11-15)
  • extra-large (16-20)
  • large (21-30)
  • medium (31-35)
  • small (36-45)
  • miniature (about 100)
In the United States, jumbo and colossal shrimp are commonly called "prawns," though the prawn is, in fact, a different species.

Raw shrimp should smell of the sea with no hint of ammonia. Cooked, shelled shrimp should look plump and succulent. Before storing fresh, uncooked shrimp, rinse them under cold, running water and drain thoroughly. Tightly cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Cooked shrimp can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Freeze shrimp for up to 3 months. Thaw in its freezer wrapping overnight in the refrigerator, or place package in cold water until defrosted.

Whether or not to devein shrimp is a matter of personal preference. In general, small and medium shrimp do not need deveining except for cosmetic purposes. However, because the intestinal vein of larger shrimp contains grit, it should be removed.

Here are some of our favorite shrimp recipes!

Garlic Shrimp
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley for garnish
Garlic Shrimp In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute. Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry and paprika.

Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly, until the shrimp turn pink and curl slightly, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.

Makes 3 servings — 3.8 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

Shrimp with Fresh Herbs

In Italy, herbs have always been used extensively in the kitchen, their fresh flavors replacing heavy and complicated sauces. Here they are used to perfection to compliment the delicate flavor of the shrimp.
  • 2 lb shrimp (prawns)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup bunch fresh marjoram
  • 1/3 cup bunch fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup bunch fresh tarragon
  • 1/3 cup bunch fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
Shrimp with Fresh Herbs Finely chop half of each bunch of the herbs.

Peel the shrimps and remove the heads. Wash them and dry with a tea-towel.

Fry the garlic gently in the oil until golden brown, then remove it. Add the shrimps to the oil and brown them for 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, stir in the chopped herbs and moisten with the wine. Finish cooking for a few minutes and serve hot, garnished with the remaining fresh herbs.

Makes 6 servings — 4.7 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

Salmon, Shrimp and Avocado Rolls

These rolls are extremely simple to prepare and require no cooking. To ensure excellent results, the ingredients must be of the finest quality. Salmon, Shrimp and Avocado Rolls
  • 10 oz. smoked salmon slices
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 16 medium cooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Lumpfish roe, to garnish
  • Fresh dill weed, to garnish
Cut the salmon slices into 2 X 1 1/4 inch rectangles. Remove the pit from the avocado half, cut in two and remove the skin. Then cut each quarter into four or five slices lengthwise and cut the slices in half through the middle. Place the pieces in a bowl and toss in the lemon juice.

Roll a piece of avocado or a shrimp in each piece of salmon and place on a serving tray. Decorate the rolls with some lumpfish roe and a sprig of dill weed.

CHEF'S TIP: These rolls can be prepared several hours in advance. Once assembled, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Makes 8 servings — Less than 1 gram of carbohydrate per serving.

Classic Shrimp Cocktail

A classic for many years and a favorite of thousands. It's perfection as an appetizer!
  • 32 shell-on (21 to 25 count) tiger shrimp
For the brine:
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups ice
For the cocktail sauce:
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup prepared chili sauce
  • 4 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • Few grinds fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning
Classic Shrimp Cocktail Using a pair of scissors or a serrated knife, make an incision down the backside of the shrimp, following the intestinal track. Eviscerate shrimp and rinse under cool water leaving shells intact.

Place cleaned shrimp into a bowl with brine and refrigerate mixture for 20 to 25 minutes. While shrimp are brining, place tomatoes, chili sauce, horseradish, Splenda, pepper, and salt in food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate cocktail sauce until ready to serve.

Place a baking sheet or broiler pan under oven broiler and preheat for 5 minutes. Remove shrimp from brine and drain thoroughly. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and dry on paper towels. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning, if desired.

Place shrimp onto a sizzling sheet pan and return to broiler immediately. After 2 minutes, turn the shrimp with a pair of tongs. Return the shrimp to broiler for 1 minute. Transfer to a cold cookie sheet. Refrigerate immediately.

Once shrimp have chilled, arrange with cocktail sauce in a martini glass or as desired.

Makes 4 servings — 4.6 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

Quick Shrimp Diane


This is a version of Paul Prudhomme's Shrimp Diane, modified for the home cook who doesn't necessarily have access to head-on shrimp and the time to make shrimp stock from scratch. The list of ingredients looks long, but it goes together very quickly. The original recipe calls for bread, pasta, or hot cooked rice; you can substitute low-carb bread or pasta, or use steamed cauliflower put through a ricer to substitute for the rice.
(I find that the "riced" cauliflower is much less watery and therefore capable of soaking up more juices)
  • 1 pound of uncooked (preferable) or cooked shrimp, with shells, medium to large size
  • 3/4 C chicken stock, or 3/4 C water + 1 cube/tsp chicken bouillion
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 C chopped green onions
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 3 T fresh parsley leaves, or 3 T dried parsely leaves soaked in 1/4C chicken broth
Spice mixture:
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (cut to 1/4 tsp if you don't like things too hot)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
Combine all these ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.

Shrimp Diane Mince the garlic, slice the green onions, and clean and slice the mushrooms before you begin, because this goes together very quickly, and you can't stop to chop once you begin cooking.

Remove the shells from the shrimp and place the shells in a small microwavable bowl. Add the chicken stock, or the water and bouillion. Microwave on high for 1 minute. This will infuse the stock with a nice shrimp flavor. Remove from the microwave and let the mixture "steep" until you're ready for it.

In a large skillet, melt 1 stick of butter over high heat. When almost melted, add the green onions, garlic, and the spice mixture; stir well. If you are using uncooked shrimp, add them now and sauté just until they turn pink, about 1 minute, shaking the pan (don't stir; it breaks up the lagniappe) in a back-and-forth motion.

When the shrimp are just pink, add the mushrooms and 4 tablespoons of the shrimp-infused chicken stock; then add the remaining 1/2 stick of butter in chunks and continue to shake the pan. Before the butter chunks are completely melted, add the parsley, then the remaining 2 tablespoons of stock. Continue cooking and shaking the pan until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly and butter sauce is the consistency of cream.

If you are using cooked shrimp, add them at the very last minute and just allow them to heat through briefly, so as to avoid them becoming tough.

Serve immediately in large bowls over cauliflower if you like, or with low-carb bread on the side to soak up the sauce as you eat.

This dish is best if made only 2 servings at a time. If you want to make more than 2 servings, do so in separate batches but serve while piping hot.

Makes 4 servings — 4.6 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

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